Improving the accuracy of orbit lifetime analysis using enhanced general perturbations methods

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The general perturbations method for orbit lifetime analysis developed by the authors is improved by using spacecraft orbit decay tracking data to inform orbit lifetime predictions. This data is used to derive input parameters such as mass, and drag coefficient in order to make the method independent from error in these inputs, which can be a major source of error in orbit lifetime predictions. These derived inputs are then used to generate more accurate predictions while still maintaining the speed of the original method. The accuracy of the new method is validated against the authors' original method and historical data.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAAS/AIAA Spaceflight Mechanics Meeting 2016
EditorsMartin T. Ozimek, Renato Zanetti, Angela L. Bowes, Ryan P. Russell, Martin T. Ozimek
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 17 Feb 2016
Event26th AAS/AIAA Space Flight Mechanics Meeting, 2016 - Napa, United States
Duration: 14 Feb 201618 Feb 2016


Conference26th AAS/AIAA Space Flight Mechanics Meeting, 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • general perturbations
  • orbit lifetime analysis
  • special perturbations
  • low Earth orbit
  • atmospheric drag
  • astronautics

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